Captain Jack Sparrow is forced to team up with feared pirate
Blackbeard in order to find the legendary Fountain of Youth.
Pirates of the Caribbean:
After the increasing complexity of the previous two films, On Stranger Tides smarty goes for a simpler tale. Unfortunately, the story feels more like a prologue and the characters are simply not that interesting. This is a particualry hollow feeling installment with the only positives being the performances from the cast and the fun action scenes.
As mentioned, the cast is fantastic in this movie. Johnny Depp is still the only one who can expertly portray Jack Sparrow, even though the character is more of a slapstick comedian than a ruthless pirate at this point. As for the new characters, Penelope Cruz does a great job in her role. She adds quite a bit of sexuality not previously seen in this series. Also, Ian McShane is fantastic as feared infamous pirate, Blackbeard. McShane tends to be a reliable presence on screen, with his villainous portrayal of this character no different. Other than that, the rest of the cast is pretty forgettable. Even Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa, simply because his character really has no point in the franchise anymore. The film also features some pretty great action scenes, with the mermaid attack being a particular highlight. As for the story itself, while I appreciate the return to a more simpler tale, it also caused this installment to feel like a prologue. A hollow, meandering prologue of a tale I could have lived without.
On Stranger Tides isn't a bad film per se, as the cast gives it their all and the action scenes are in line with the best of the series. But considering the main storyline was finished with the third film, a fourth one seems largely unnecessary. A point that is furthered hammered as the film progresses. While I do wish the series would end, I'll hold out hope that the next installment fares better than this one.